Solar heater questions...

G

Guest

So I just got a solar heater for my pool. According to the instructions its suppose to go AFTER the pump. Which makes sense. But what if you have a SWG? My SWG has a flow sensor and while testing it with my solar heater connected after the SWG, its not complaining yet of poor water flow. It has a habit of complaining if a lot of air gets trapped in the lines as it produces chlorine. With the solar heater there is a bigger chance of air getting trapped in it and slowing the flow down. I really didnt feel like sitting out side for an hour while my SWG ran to see if it complains about it, so I will find out later when I go check. But just wanted to know what you guys thought about it.

And just wandering, would adding my spare 530gph pump between the solar heater and the return port on my pool help with the flow or would it hinder it? I know as the more plumbing you add, you lose head. And buying a bigger pump at this point in time is out of the question. I guess I could add a bypass so when the SWG is running (1-2 hours max), it doesnt flow into the solar heater. But just in case would the pump help?
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,880
Silver Spring, MD
If your solar system is plumbed so that the return from the solar array rejoins the normal return before going to the pool, the SWG should be plumbed after the solar return has rejoined the main return line. The SWG may indeed complain about the air in the pipe when the solar system is turned on, but it should then go back to being happy after things have gotten going properly.

Adding an extra booster pump just for solar is possible, but will only work correctly if the solar return does not rejoin the main return and the solar booster pump is only run when the main pump is on.

How high up are you placing the solar panels relative to the water level in the pool? Your current pump should be just fine as long as the panels are below the pool water level. If the panels are above the pool water level you may need a larger pump, though it depends on just how high above the pool the panels are.
 
G

Guest

As of right now my panel is on the ground near the pool. But its not getting enough light tho. Would adding 20 feet of 1-1/2" piping reduce the pressure/head, so I can put the panel on the other side of my trailer? Cant move the pool. This is the only good spot unless I buy more fencing for the other side of the trailer. And I cant afford that.

The panel is currently on bare ground. Will that affect the temperature at night when it gets colder? Should I tilt it a bit off the ground? Have plenty of wood laying around to build something like that!
 

NWMNMom

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 8, 2007
1,582
Waaay NW MN
The panels can both warm and cool a pool depending on the temperatures in contact with the panels. You may want to build a rack to angle them for better exposure. We don't run our water through the panels at night or when the sun is off the panels - this helps to keep our temps more stable. We have a diverter set so that we don't always have the water running through the panels.
 

dmanb2b

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 4, 2009
3,734
NY
This is our 2nd season with the panels on the ground. We just layed them on some landscape fabric. The 20ft run could definately work, but not sure the 1500 gph Intex pump could push the water that far through a panel and back. Hopefully some others with a similar set-up/pump can help you shortly.
 
G

Guest

Yeah I am really considering angling them off the ground a bit. I have thought about a redirect but just seems like too much work to have to turn on the 2 valves each morning and then turning them back off each night. Or would it only take 1 3-way valve and 1 T connector?
 

NWMNMom

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 8, 2007
1,582
Waaay NW MN
We have a diverter with a gate valve - looks a lot like this |--| when the valve is DOWN the water goes to the panels, UP straight back to the pool return
 
G

Guest

I seem to be having trouble finding a diverter with a gate valve! Is there a technical term for it? Do you know where I can find one? Lowes doesnt seem to sell them.
 

Brentr

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Oct 18, 2009
2,705
Jacksonville, FL
Paxination said:
I seem to be having trouble finding a diverter with a gate valve! Is there a technical term for it? Do you know where I can find one? Lowes doesnt seem to sell them.
Our HD carries 3 way never lube diverter valves. Look in the plumbing section.